I spend a lot of time on planes (maybe too much \u2013 see last post). On a flight a couple of years ago I sat next to a guy and our conversation quickly turned to IT. Apparently he\u2019d been hired as a systems administrator more than a decade earlier at a manufacturing company. During his first week, he noticed that there were no backup\/recovery disks created for this one particular system that was running some pretty critical manufacturing equipment. He made a set of backup disks, which then amounted to ten 5 1\/4 inch floppy disks (at a time when floppy disks were actually floppy). He took the disks to the company secretary and asked her to label them and put them in the fireproof safe. Six months later, a power spike hits, the system gets fried and he has to bring another one online. He gets the disks, created six months prior, from the secretary and puts the first one in. He sees the two scariest words one could ever see as a system administrator: \u201cMEDIA ERROR.\u201d The guy spends the next\u00a0 three days rebuilding the system with no sleep and plenty of caffeine. After he\u2019s done he makes another set of recovery disks, stumbles back into the secretary\u2019s office and asks her once again to label the disks and put them in the fireproof safe. He makes his way over to her coffee machine, sips on a cup and starts to contemplate a career change. She can see he\u2019s upset and decides to do what he asks right away. What happened next was one of the most striking examples of education failure I\u2019ve ever seen. She reached into a drawer and pulled out a set of white adhesive labels. She then sticks one on the first of his disks. Next she takes the disk and SHOVES IT INTO THE TYPEWRITER. Crank, Crank, Crank, as it gets loaded and placed in the sights of the type head. Then\u2026Whack, Whack, Whack as she stars to type the word \u201cBackup\u201d on the typewriter--obviously ruining the disk. His heart sinks as he realizes that every disk he\u2019s ever given her has probably been ruined.The interesting question here is: Was that her fault? I say no. She didn\u2019t know how to properly handle floppy disks; this was maybe a decade ago (or more) and she\u2019d had very little exposure to computers. She still typed letters by hand. Whenever she\u2019d been given something thin enough to fit into a typewriter and asked to label and file it, this is the procedure that she followed. The problem was that she was given a technology but not the knowledge to use it properly. It\u2019s amazing how often these same things happen in IT today, and particularly in software development. Developers are asked to incorporate cryptography but have no idea what a salt or seed is. Auditors use source code scanners but have no idea what SQL Injection threats really are. True advances in safety and security improve the experiences of all types of users. They can build \u201cknowledge\u201d into the product itself. A good example is the move from 5 1\/4 floppy disks to the hard shell 3 1\/2 inch disks. It\u2019s much more obvious that a hard shell disk shouldn\u2019t be bent or typed on. In addition the disks were generally more durable. As for magnets, submersion, heat and all manner of bad things that can happen, that\u2019s still a knowledge issue. \u00a0Many IT security products do little to teach you what they do; they instead do what designers thought you\u2019d want them to do. Given that user needs can be so different and security can be so contextual, the security\/safety education part of technology deployment should be as critical as the technology itself.